The only way to read the future is to understand the past. In a historical moment when things move at a vertiginous speed, when the global superpower may lose its supremacy in a decade, or a crypto coin might become the world reserve currency just a few years after the concept arose, a new ideology can last only if based on a solid interpretation of history. This is why ‘When history turns’ will be the (draft) opening chapter of the Equitist Manifesto.
Read these opening sentences and let me know what you think!
WHEN HISTORY TURNS
Every generation sees its time on this planet as the most defining in history. While this is an obvious flaw of human minds and a way to overshoot our importance and the interest of things happening around us in our lifetime, by all means, the early two-thousands have been a tumultuous time.
This is not only because in the two decades separating the beginning of the new millennium and the moment these words are written significant events took place: from global crises like the financial collapse and COVID19 to the rise of social media and the digital world, the list is so all-encompassing that even the election of the first black U.S. President might not make the cut. However, what is truly remarkable is that this time-lapse is one of those rare moments where history takes a sharp turn.
History turns when the framework applied to reality for a significant amount of time breaks apart. In simple words, when the understanding of “how the world works” that has held for several decades or generations in a row frail, history turns. From the end of the WW2, the mutual understanding of a large part of the world was that the liberal order - a set of values including democracy as a governance model, the respect of human rights, and unconstrained economic growth & trade - would always expand, together with its uttermost champion: the United States. This belief was complemented by a great trust in science and technology, seen as trusted servants of humankind and enabler of human well-being, prolonging our lives and granting unprecedented opportunities. Last, it seemed well understood that while specific global parameters like poverty or nuclear proliferation were to be countered through multilateralism, the prosperity of one people within one nation would largely depend on the actions of the government of that nation.
These trends likely defined the life of the parents, grandparents, and perhaps great-grandparents of the readers of this pamphlet, and they all have something in common; they are all currently frailing. So, to understand the turn history is taking, it is fundamental to isolate and examine what is shifting the foundations of today’s society, namely:
- The decline of a superpower and the values and framework it has championed for long;
- The competing coexistence of digital and physical worlds and the turning point technology is at in being the savior or the doomer of our times;
- The cancellation of barriers, as no player can alone reign over global issues, decentralization, and the surge of inequalities and crackdown on rights.
An important note must be made before deep-diving in the tale of the three rowels moving societies in a new direction. History is the compilation of human acts shaping reality and the interpretation of such acts. In the 15th-hundred the act of Europeans sailing to the Americas was interpreted as a world-changing opportunity for wealth and human development. However, today’s interpretation of those acts is mostly negatively connotated with colonialism and genocide.
The effort to build a new society, the equitist society, cannot overlook this element. For a revolution to outgrow its founders and continue in history, it has to be able to read the interpretation of its acts in the future and become so forward-looking that people in generations from now will see the value of such work while assessing its mistakes. As the readers of this pamphlet probably support the efforts of the suffragettes in the early 1900 or the struggle of black South Africans in the last quarter of the same century, Equitism must be shaped in a way that humans century from now will still value and comprehend its great effort to build a better world.
Tomorrow, the work will continue by exploring the destiny of democracy and the United States, aka the “fall of the empire.” This is particularly important today, just a few hours after the first official bilateral summit between President Biden and President Xi, with the latter warning the Americans to stop “playing with fire” over Taiwan. And while the two leading powers are sparring, the one trying to build a “third pole”, the EU, is once more torn apart by its inability to turn words into action by championing solidarity at the border with Belarus, where migrants are pushed back into freezing woods. This is not an easy time; this is why we need something new.
As usual, feel free to send me your reflection and feedback!
Andrea Venzon (he/him)
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👉 The content of this email is part of the work to create the Equitist Manifesto. Here you can find the structure we want to follow, and previous issues are available here!